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Awake In The Dark
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Old September 17th, 2005, 06:27 PM   #1
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"American Plumber" (or "How I learned my lesson")

Son of a Bostitch, the bastards stole my idea. Just saw an episode, apparently the first, of American Plumber on The Discovery Channel. I only saw the last half, but my dad (the one I talk about all the time, the plumber?) saw the whole thing, and gives it high marks. It's apparently a very accurate representation of the industry, for better or worse, and he loved it. I enjoyed what little I saw, and the guy the show focuses on is our kind of plumber. It aired at 6:00 PM, not sure if it'll be on the same time next Saturday; keep an eye out, though, and watch. You'll see what kinds of things we deal with on a regular basis.

And let it be a lesson to you: don't dawdle if you've got a cool idea, like I did. Not that I have the resources to shoot a TV show on my own, but dammit, I feel like I coulda done something, you know?
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Old October 16th, 2005, 06:07 PM   #2
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You may be surprised how many people have very similar or identical ideas. Whether you have a great idea/concept or not, only the one's with the contacts to the key production companies then to the networks will be successful. There are a few threads on this board describing the procedure for submission. To see a current show line up on all Discovery Networks just visit www.discovery.com, find the network then click on shows A-Z.
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Old October 16th, 2005, 06:25 PM   #3
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Sure, sure, I wouldn't have stood a chance of "success" in the financial and distribution senses, but I could have at least DONE something that hadn't been done before...now it just feels derivative. And, you know, on the various message boards I frequent, I mention my father, his business, and the industry every now and again, and I think it might've been nice to give people a glimpse of the things we go through on a regular basis.

I felt the same way when I saw Napoleon Dynamite used Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat" so effectively; I've always loved that song, and would like the chance to use it, but now it's inextricably linked to that movie, at least for another few years.

I have no one to blame but myself for such things, though, and that's the point: even with no chance of regaining an investment of time and money, or widespread distribution, I could have at least been original, and maybe had some fun.
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Old October 16th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #4
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Actually and especially as a first time creator/submitter you would not have anything to do with the distribution. You would negotiate a fee, get paid and then it would no longer be in your hands. The production company would then own it and in turn sell it to the network. Now, if for some reason you became a great source for ideas/concepts, then you could start negotiating more inclusive terms for yourself.
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Old October 16th, 2005, 06:44 PM   #5
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Oh man, having actually met Robert and his Dad in person, I have to agree, you were there first Rob, they just executed it first. But that's 20/20 hindsight.

You're Dad's one interesting and original guy, Rob. Forget about being derivative, just find the angle and do it. There's still a million interesting stories about the all-american plumber that need to be told, and destiny/fate placed you perfectly in the position to tell it.
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Old October 16th, 2005, 06:47 PM   #6
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When I say "distribution", I mean only "getting my product to an audience in some way", not necessarily the official, industry definition of the word.

Knowing I would never be able to have my product shown to lots of people, my intention was never to create a show, or even just an idea, and try selling it to the Discovery Channel (or anyone, for that matter), only to shoot footage and cut together a nice little documentary (of sorts) for myself. Maybe show it to you guys, throw it up on my website, something like that.
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Old October 16th, 2005, 06:53 PM   #7
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Rob, why don't you take your camcorder and ride around with your Dad in his truck? I'll bet you'll find a lot of interesting stories to tell. I couldn't believe all the stories your Dad had to tell, when we we're just chatting on the sidewalk.
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Old October 16th, 2005, 09:25 PM   #8
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Heh heh...I can see it now: "The Turd Chaser Diaries", now available for download to your video iPod so you can watch it while sitting on the toilet!

If I could just figure out what to discuss, and how to format it, hell, I'd be set. Not a bad idea, thanks Michael!
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